Harry Potter And The Philospher’s Stone
By J.K. Rowling
Year Published: 1997 (Man if I had read this when it was published, I would have been 8 or something and totally in love with the series. *Sigh*)
Pages: 223
Edition: paperback
Times read: Twice
Brought in: Wouldn’t actually know myself. It’s my younger brother’s book, so probably brought for his birthday in 2001 or something
Date read: December 14 (I kept forgetting to review it, so here it is, better late than never)
Time taken to read: About two weeks. I found it difficult to read…

Ok so everyone in the world knows this series. It’s responsible for getting millions of children worldwide into reading again, it spawned 6 movies so far, its pretty ridiculous. I have seen all the movies so far, and read all the books (but the 7th one) and although I’ve done all this, I’ve never actually been able to get into the series all that much. Sure, it’s a fantastic magical world and all, but it just never piqued my interest like other books and movies. I think that may be in part to me starting to read the series when I was closer to 15, and quite out of the age-range it is aimed at. Like I said before, if I had read this when it had been first published, I would have been like 8, and this would have been the greatest thing ever. Oh well.

Basic storyline:
So there’s this kid, Harry potter, who has no parents and lives in a cupboard under the stairs in his Aunt and Uncles house, who hate him. Turns out he’s a wizard, and he’s whisked off to Hogwarts to learn about becoming a wizard. He makes friends with Ron and Hermine, and they somehow always seem to get into fantastical adventures with minimal hurt coming to them or consequences. Harry has an arch enemy, Voldermort, and he battles this evil sucker in the book becoming victorious. Oh, and he’s famous because he’s the only person ever to face Voldermort and live. Yeah. Totally normal 11 year old.

Now I know this book is supposed to be unbelievable- it’s about wizards for a start. But even with all that aside, I still find it to be a really unbelievable story. Like, why would a mighty powerful evil dude like Voldermort become such a weakling in 11 years? why would he hunt down a freaking child? Yeah I know it’s all explained, but really? I’m probably insulting a lot of fans here, but this series just isn’t something I really enjoy reading. The rest of the books in the series are admitedly better, as J.K. Rowling becomes more of a writer than a first-novelist, but it’s still just not something that appealed to me. In saying that, these books are quite good for children, and I can see the appeal of them for people of all ages. Unfortunately, I am just not one of those people.

Final words:
Harry Potter And The Philisopher’s stone book
: 5/10. It’s a ‘meh’ book to me. I’ll read it, but it doesn’t draw me in, I don’t particularly care nor relate to any of the characters, and I feel the movie has spoilt the series a bit. It’s because of the movie that I felt compelled to re-read this book, after catching it on daytime TV during December last year. And I have to say, I preferred the movie to the book- which is never, never a good sign.
The movie version of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone: 8/10. It’s far better, and this is something I hate to admit. Sure, it changes parts of the story, it leaves details out, it’s never as good as reading… but I felt that the movie was just better overall. I found watching the movie, I could not actually stop watching it until the end. With the book, I found myself wanting to stop reading it and fighting to try and finish it.
Would I re-read it? Perhaps. If another 5 or so years goes by and I haven’t seen the movie version, I may pick up the book, or watch the movie, and feel compelled to sit through it all again. But really, I feel I’ve outgrown this series.
Who would I recommend it to? Honestly, children. I know a lot of older people like this book and series, but it is aimed specifically at children. If you gave this to a kid between 7-12, they will love it and never put it down. This I am certain of. So definitely give it to them, they will love you for it, and you will arouse their interest in reading.

Some quick links:
amazon link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Harry-Potter-Philosophers-Stone-Book/dp/0747532745
Well I can’t actually find any other links. It’s partially because of the movie of the same name, and partially because the American version of this novel had a different name, which is the name the world knows it as. Well one link is better than nothing, I spose.

So I recommend that if you have never read this book/series, you should. It’s one of those things everyone should read once in their lives. And if, like me, you find you don’t enjoy it, don’t just give up. Make it through to the end, so you can at least say you gave it a chance. Then hand the book over to your children, your niece/nephews, that annoying kid next door. They will love you for it, and anytime you find youself stuck talking to one of them, you can amaze them with your knowledge on something they like. Everyone wins!
-Shay

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